What Is Javascript?

The term javascript refers to a programming language used in web pages and software applications. It’s also the engine that powers the Document Object Model (DOM), making it possible for web applications to add interactivity and functionality. It’s also what allows us to fill out forms, zoom into maps, and interact with other elements on a website without any additional plugins.

Originally created in 1995, it’s one of the most widely used programming languages on the planet. It’s often referred to as the animating force of the web because it enables interactivity and makes it possible for websites to display quizzes, forms, popups, and other features. It’s also a core component of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which are used to connect different web applications and allow them to communicate with each other.

Unlike other computer languages, which use a series of letters and numbers to represent commands, javascript code is written using a human-readable syntax. This means that it isn’t directly understood by computers, compilers, or browsers – they need an engine, such as the JVM, to interpret the code and execute it.

When a developer writes a piece of javascript, it is stored in a file called a script and the engine then takes the script and converts it into machine instructions that are understood by the browser. The resulting code is called a function.

The reason javascript is so popular is that it offers many advantages for developers, such as its simplicity and speed. Since it is a client-side language, it is used to manipulate the DOM and run web pages – rather than being sent to a server and then translated to HTML, which is what is done in most other programming languages.

Another benefit of javascript is its versatility. It supports multiple programming paradigms, including dynamic typing and object-oriented programming. Its flexibility allows developers to choose the best approach for a task.

For example, web developers frequently use javascript to validate the data that users enter in online forms. This can include validating that the person’s age falls within a range, or that their zip code is correct.

This is a simple example, but there are many other ways in which web developers utilize javascript to make sites more interactive and functional. One of the most common is to use javascript to create an event listener, which can be used to detect a click on a button or other element on a page. This can be used to create a simple animation, or to perform a more complex action.

Although javascript can be a powerful tool for developers, it has its limitations. For example, implementing too much of it can negatively impact a site’s performance because each javascript requires the engine to load, parse, and execute it. It can also be difficult to debug a webpage with too much javascript, as it is not easily readable by the browser. For this reason, it is best to use a framework with a javascript interpreter built into it, such as React, Angular, or Ionic.